To fully conduct research that will support the far-term concepts, technologies and methods required to improve the safety of Air Transportation a simulation environment of the requisite degree of fidelity must first be in place. The Virtual National Airspace Simulation (VNAS) will provide the underlying infrastructure necessary for such a simulation system. Aerospace-specific knowledge management services such as intelligent data-integration middleware will support the management of information associated with this complex and critically important operational environment. This simulation environment, in conjunction with a distributed network of supercomputers, and high-speed network connections to aircraft, and to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airline and other data-sources will provide the capability to continuously monitor and measure operational performance against expected performance. The VNAS will also provide the tools to use this performance baseline to obtain a perspective of what is happening today and of the potential impact of proposed changes before they are introduced into the system.